SW305 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I

for FA 2007

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SW 305 Human Behavior in theSocial Environment I


FA 2007 HO


Bachman, Gary E.


Field Director and Associate Professor



Office Location


Office Hours

Mon. 10-11A,& 1-3P, Tues. 8:45-11:45A, Thurs. 8:45-9:45

Daytime Phone

816 584-6504

Other Phone

913 634-4976 (cell)



Semester Dates

August 20 - December 14, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

7:20 - 8:35 AM

Credit Hours



REQUIRED:   Contemporary Human Behavior Theory Second Edition 

Robbins,S.P., Chatterjee,P.& Canda, E.R. 2006   Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-205-40816-0

Recommended*: Understanding Human Behavior 6th Edition Zastrow, C.H., &Kirst-Ashman, K.K. 2004 Brooks/Cole     ISBN 0-534-60831-0

             *Several copies of this recommended text will be on reserve in the library

Additional Resources:
Additional readings will be assigned throughout the semester and will be available for reading or download on the course “e-Companion” website.     http://parkonline.org/  

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
This course examines the interplay of biological, psychological, social and cultural factors which influence human behavior and human development through the life cycle. This course, which is the first in a sequence of two courses, focuses on the period of infancy to young adulthood. Attention is given to the impact of social and economic deprivation on human development. 3:0:3Prerequisite/Co-requisite: SW205

Educational Philosophy:

Social work as a profession emerged in response to the many challenges, inequalities and threats to societies and the world’s most vulnerable populations. The demographic of those populations is constantly evolving, as is the nature of challenges that increasingly confront us all.
It is vitally important that social work professionals be prepared to efficiently and critically consider their environment in order to identify, strategize, and communicate an appropriate response to the matters before them. This is as true in business, science, education and government service as it is in social work. 
It is the intent of the faculty in the Department of Social Work to facilitate learners in the acquisition of such knowledge as will serve them, their families and their communities, throughout their lives. Through the semester, world and local events will occur which may influence our academic, personal, or professional pursuits. In light of such circumstances, the instructor reserves the right to amend the schedule of study. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss interactions among the biological, social, psychological, and culturally diverse systems from conception through mid-adult life.
  2. Compare and contrast theories of human development and behavior from conception through mid-adult life.
  3. Recognize and interpret contributions of research to the current and evolving knowledge of human behavior in the social environment.
  4. Describe the dynamics of oppression, discrimination and social economic injustice on and transmitted through organizations, communities, social institutions, society and the world at large.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of personal, professional values and ethics on professional practice and the potential of value conflicts.

Core Assessment:
  • Exams (LO 1-6)
  • Ecomap (LO 1,2,4,5) 
  • Family Resilience Paper (LO 1,2,4,5)
  • Observation Paper (LO 1-5)
  • Group Presentation (LO 1)
  • Web Research Paper (LO 3,5)
  • Core Assessment: Personal Learning Plan: Portfolio Assignment (LO 3,5)

Class Assessment:
Further details on these assignments will be distributed in class and posted on the e-Companion web site. The assignments of this course are designed to develop specific competencies. CO refers to course objectives met, noted in parenthesis.

 ·       Critical Analysis of Theory (20points) CO 1-6      The “Critical Analysis” form at the end of this syllabus is to be used for this assignment. It is available and may be downloaded as a word document from the course e-Companion web-site. Beginning in week three and continuing through the eleventh week of the semester, these review forms are to be completed and turned in at the beginning of class, on the date noted. The forms are designed for your learning and as a means to prepare you to participate in class as we discuss each theory. There will be no grade assigned to the individual weekly assignments. You will obtain full credit if the forms are each appropriately completed and turned in on time. These assignments may be hand or type written.

·        In class exercises: (20points cumulative) (CO 1-6) Through-out the semester, a series of short exercises will be distributed. Most will be completed in class although a some may be sent home with you to be completed in preparation for discussion in the following class session. Each exercise completed will be worth 4 points of the overall grade up a total of 20 points. You must be present both when the assignment is distributed and discussed in order to receive credit. 

·        ESSAY #1 (40 points) (CO 1,2,5 & 6) The total text length for this paper must not exceed 6 pages. Apply two theories covered in class to a personal experience. (Note: you will also be expected to identify two theories to use in your second paper. You may not use the same two theories in both papers.) You may want to briefly review the various theories in the text before proceeding. The outline for this assignment will be posted on the e-Companion web site. You must follow the outline instructions.
·                        ESSAY #2 (40 points) (CO 1-6 )   (six pages maximum – not counting the appendix) Similar to the previous assignment, apply two (different) theories from the text to a contemporary social event. The focus event should be identified from a popular media source, (e.g., newspaper, newsmagazine, Internet) and should be an event in which a social worker might reasonably be expected to become involved.. Do not use the same theories from paper #1. The outline for this assignment will be posted on the e-Companion web site. 
·        RESEARCH PAPER (CO 1-6)  (60points) - Core Assessment Assignment The outline and a model for this assignment will be posted on the e-Companion web site.
·        Final Exam (20 points) This comprehensive essay exam will be done in class on the date scheduled during finals week.


Every effort will be made to be fair and reasonable in grading your work and participation. If you have questions or concerns about this, please speak to the instructor in a timely manner. This course is part of a professional sequence, leading to a professional degree. You are expected to behave professionally. That includes being prepared for and attending class on a consistent basis. You are expected to present work that is legible and well considered. Assessment in this course relies heavily upon the evaluation of your written material. You are encouraged to rely upon the “Guidelines for Writing Papers “ noted below.

The Critical Analysis Papers: 20 points     In class exercises: 20 points (cumulative)             Essay #1: 40 points Essay #2: 40 points   Research Paper: 60 points   Final: 20 points         


Scoring:       A= 200-180    B= 179-160    C= 159-140    D= 139-120    F= 119-

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the date indicated. In the event of an absence, assignments may be submitted to the instructor electronically. The student remains responsible for lost, misdirected or incompatible formatting of electronic submissions. In extenuating circumstances (as determined by the instructor) and with timely notification an exception may or may not be granted. Assignments not submitted on time will receive a deduction of 10% of the possible score per day. If you have a question about any assignment or expectation in this course, please contact the instructor in a timely manner. Please be aware that there is no extra credit work in this course.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

In order to maintain a positive learning environment the following ground rules will be followed:

1.      Personal perspectives will be valued. Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable.

2.      Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions that have an educational value.

3.      If you work in groups, it is the responsibility of the group members to delegate work. All members of a group must present on the project and all will receive the same grade.

4.      Because of our sensitive subject matter, courtesy needs to be maintained in the classroom at all times. Students need to arrive on time. Students will not hold private conversations when another person is speaking. Students will speak one at a time.

5.      If student’s behavior in the classroom is disruptive, the instructor will allow the student an opportunity to correct the behavior without consequences. If the student’s behavior continues to be disruptive, that student may be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:




Topic and Readings



Aug. 21

Aug. 23



Course Introduction - review syllabus and assignments

Robbins: Chapter 1 “The Nature of Theories” and a framework for critical thinking.


Aug. 28


Aug. 30


Zastrow & Kirst Ashman: Chapter 1 “Theoretical perspective on Human Behavior & the social Environment”   (on reserve)

Robbins: Ch. 2    Systems Theories


Sept. 4


Sept. 6

Systems Theory (continued) Zastrow et al: pg. 458-468 “Assessing & Intervening in Family Systems”

Theory analysis (TA) paper due


Sept. 11


Sept. 15

Empowerment Theories   RobbinsCh. 4

TA paper due


Sept. 18

Sept. 20


Culture and Oppression: Theories of Assimilation, Acculturation and Bicultural Socialization

Robbins: Ch. 5; TA paper due Essay # 1 Due


Sept. 25

Sept. 27


Robbins: Ch. 6; Psychodynamic Theory

TA paper due


Oct. 2



Life Span Theory

Robbins: Ch. 7;

TA paper due; Essay One Due in Class


Oct. 9

Oct. 11


Cognitive & Moral Development Theories

Robbins: Ch. 8;

TA paper due; Topics for Research Paper are Due

fall recess - Oct. 16 - 20 - no class



 Oct. 23


Oct. 25

Bio-Psycho-Social Theory (article will be distributed in class)


Oct. 30


Nov. 1

Symbolic Interactionism and Family Development

Robbins: Ch. 9;

TA paper due


Nov. 6


Nov. 8

Robbins: Ch. 10; Phenomenology, Social Constructionism, and Hermeneutics             TA paper due Essay 2 Due in Class


 Nov. 13


 Nov. 15

Robbins: Ch. 11 Behaviorism, Social Learning, and Exchange Theory

TA paper due


Nov. 20


 (Nov. 22)

Robbins: Ch. 12; Transpersonal Theories   TA paper due



Nov. 27



Robbins: Ch. 13; The Critical Application of Theories to Practice - Selection and Integration of Theories


    Dec. 4


Dec. 6

Critical Application of Theories to Practice - Selection and Integration of Theories

Final Paper Due (last day of class)

Finals Week


Dec. 11


Final Exam Tuesday  8 – 10AM

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
Regular classroom attendance is both expected and essential for the attainment of course objectives. Material not found in the text will be presented and discussed in class.  Absences detract from your learning as well as that of others.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:8/20/2007 10:32:25 AM